Sunday, October 27, 2013

Everyday Items Part 1: Antiques (Part A)

When dealing with antiques (whether in real life or in roleplaying games), the main thing you need to be concerned with is provenance. According to Wikipedia Provenance
refers to the chronology of the ownership, custody or location of a historical object.The term was originally mostly used in relation to works of art, but is now used in similar senses in a wide range of fields, including archaeology, paleontology, archives, manuscripts, printed books, and science and computing.
 Let me break these down one at a time
 Ownership: Ownership starts with whoever or whatever created it. Keep in mind that sometimes that the creator is not a person but a company, a patented process, a magic or divine effect, etc. Whether it's a painting, an invention, a sports item, a sign, a piece of pottery, etc If it IS a person consider the following:
  • Who created it? For a piece of art, what else are they known for, if anything? Is this a "one trick pony" who started and ended their careers doing the same thing but were excellent at it? Or were they geniuses at many fields such as:
      •  Michelangelo who was a was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer 
      • Leonardo Da Vinci who was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.
  •  Notable owners. Sometimes an antique isn't valuable because of what it is, but because who owned it. 
    • A crown might be an ordinary circlet of tarnished old metal, but the king might pay (literally) a king's ransom for its return because of its sentimental value (or to have it back in his posession)
    • Lee Harvey Oswald's gun that shot President Kennedy.
    • The wooden false teeth of President Washington
  • Notable Events: How did this item change history?
    • A pen is just a pen, but consider how much value a collector of presidential items might pay for one that signed a significant piece of law into effect.  
    • Baseballs are a dime a dozen, but get one that is signed by Babe Ruth, and you have a small mint on your hands. 
    • Anything Michael Jordan touched during his prime is worth money.
  • Notable Locations: How is this item important that it was where it was:
    • A Civil War Rifle known to be at the Battle of Gettysburg
    • A machine gun that was fired in WWII that was in Pearl Harbor
    • A piece of the moon brought back from Neil Armstron
 More on antiques next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment